Plans to privatize St. Louis Airport still up in the air

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ST. LOUIS – It could be a long time before St. Louis City looks at possibly privatizing the St. Louis-Lambert International Airport.

Mayor Lyda Krewson, Comptroller Darlene Green, and Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed gathered Wednesday afternoon for a regular Board of Estimate and Apportionment meeting, where they approved contracts and leases for various city departments, none of which included the contract for the airport.

According to Reed, a contract that would hire a firm to look at the pros and cons of a private company leasing and running the airport for the city was drafted months ago but has yet to be approved by top city leaders. Reed would not go into specifics but said the Board of Estimate and Apportionment has yet to review the contract because it’s still sitting at the Requests and Proposals Committee.

"There is a lot that has to be done before moving forward on that agreement, but it’s important for people to understand that what that agreement would do," Reed said. "It is not the agreements to actually enter into a long-term lease agreement, it’s an agreement to look that the airport and look at the asset and place a value on the asset.”

A spokesperson for Mayor Krewson's office said it is not unusual for private companies to run a city's airport, adding that Chicago is currently looking at options for its airports and many international hubs do the same and are very successful, like the London Heathrow Airport to name one.

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